Natural History Museum, London

Who we are:

The Natural History Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually.

What we’re doing in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

NHM’s roles on the Darwin Tree of Life (DToL) project broadly fall into the following activities: (1) review of the species list for the British Isles; (2) sample acquisition, particularly insects, other invertebrates and vertebrates; (3) acting as one of the defined Genome Acquisition Laboratories (GALs); and (4) archiving of DToL samples in the Molecular Collections Facility.  As a GAL we are carrying out DNA barcoding, taking digital images, vouchering tissue, and producing samples ready for extraction and sequencing at Sanger. We receive tissue samples from our DToL partners, for barcoding and archiving.

Why we’re invested in the Darwin Tree of Life Project:

More than ever, it is critical that we preserve biodiversity. Genomics can be used to understand and describe species, and as a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre the knowledge gained from the Darwin Tree of Life project will allow our scientists to share knowledge and contribute to conservation efforts that are mitigating the impacts of negative environmental change. We can work towards securing and protecting biodiversity for future generations through the development of new technologies, and multidisciplinary collaborations and the creation of new types of specimen collections.

Our people in DToL are:

  • Ian Barnes– PI Darwin Tree of Life Project
  • Gavin Broad- Co-Investigator Tree of Life Project
  • Lauren Hughes- Collaborating Researcher – Principal Curator in Charge, Invertebrates, Life Sciences
  • Christopher Fletcher- Darwin Tree of Life Research Assistant, Marine Invertebrates
  • Laura Sivess- Darwin Tree of Life Research Assistant, Insects
  • Olga Sivell- Darwin Tree of Life Research Assistant, Insects
  • Raju Misra- Collaborating Researcher – Head, Molecular Biology Laboratories, Core Research Laboratories
  • Piotr Cuber- DToL Senior Research Assistant (SRA- from June 1st)
  • Clementine Geeves- DToL Molecular Laboratory Assistant (MLA)
  • Silvia Salatino- Collaborating Researcher – Computational Biologist, Core Research Laboratories
  • Jacqueline Mackenzie-Dodds- Collections Manager, Molecular & Frozen Tissues, Life Sciences
  • Gerry Hey- Head, Collections Management Systems, Core Research Laboratories
  • Heather Allen- DToL Molecular Data Manager (Part Time 0.5 FTE) and Molecular Sample Curator (Part Time 0.4 FTE)
  • Ben Price- Collaborating Researcher, Senior Curator in Charge, small orders
  • Matt Clark- Collaborating Researcher – Research Leader, Life Sciences
  • Chris Raper- Collaborating Researcher – Manager, UK Species Inventory, Life Sciences
  • Claire Griffin- Collaborating Researcher – Sequencing Assistant, Core Research Laboratories

Former DToL researchers:

  • Lyndall Pereira da Conceicoa- Darwin Tree of Life Sampling Coordinator
  • Darren Chooneea- DToL Senior Research Assistant (SRA)
  • Charlotte Barclay- Data Manager